Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 57  September 6th 2002 – IT’S GOOD TO BE OLD




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1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo – Ecological Footprint

4. New Printables -  Freeware Money and Coins

5. Technical Stuff – Professional Reading ITC

6. Web Site Focus - Circus

7. Letter Writing

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. It's Good to be old.  To all you old

teachers out there, including me, who are feeling the pressure

of the technology push, the innovation push, the new syllabus

push, stand tall, WE are  doing a great job. Studies

show that a teacher's success in the classroom is directly tied to

their level of experience and their grasp of the subject matter.'

Equalizing Experience Levels At Rich and Poor Schools Is a Must

Experience is the most valuable asset a teacher can have.

This great piece of research, basically confirms what we have

always known, experience counts.  Like everything it is really not

as simple as that, sweeping generalisations rarely reflect the truth. 

There are brilliant teachers of all ages and all levels of experience.

The secret is never to be boring, always make learning an adventure,

for both you and your students.  Get great ideas, invent new ways

to learn about old topics, be enthusiastic, be an active learner yourself. 

This is true in spades for ICT, there is always something new to

learn, no-one can ever say they know everything, new programs

and ideas are always being invented. It’s fantastic, exciting

and motivating to work on the NEW, with a bit of the OLD expertise.



"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never

cease to grow."     Anthony J. D'Angelo


"Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you: you

must acquire it."   - Sudie Back ~


MEIHEM IN CE KLASRUM – Spelling Reform

by Dolton Edwards

Because we are still bearing some of the scars of our brief skirmish

with II-B English, it is natural that we should be enchanted by

Mr. George Bernard Shaw's current campaign for a simplified alphabet……………..


In 1946, for example, we would urge the elimination of the soft

"c," for which we would substitute "s." Sertainly, such an

improvement would be selebrated in all sivic-minded sircles

as being suffisiently worth the trouble, and students in all sities

in the land would be receptive toward any change eliminating

the necessity of learning the differense between the two letters.


In 1947, sinse only the hard "c" would be left, it would be

possible to substitute "k" for it, both letters being pronounsed

identikally. Imagine how greatly only two years of this prosess

would klarify the konfusion in the minds of students. Already

we would have eliminated an entire letter from the alphabet.

Typewriters and linotypes, kould all be built with one less letter,

and all the manpower and materials previously devoted to

making "c's" kould be turned toward raising the national

standard of living………………………..


"If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would

have something to do with a shortage of flowers."

 --Doug Larson


"If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would

have something to do with a shortage of flowers."

 --Doug Larson


Q: What do you call a Local Area Network in Australia?

A: The LAN down under.


3. WWWInfo

Test Your Ecological Footprint

GREAT  site fun to do, as well as informative.


4. NEW PRINTABLES/Downloadables

Great Freeware Program Money and Coins - Australian Version available



Professional Reading ITC


Digital Video in Schools

Atomic Learning Downloadable Story boards




The Circus is a great theme.  Circus Maths from Edsoft is a

great program to integrate across the k-6 years as well as teach

maths and have a lot of fun.


A few years ago I did a circus theme with a class - fantastic.

We produced our own acts for the circus. Identified the main players.

Distributed the roles. Groups had to work out a performance piece

and practice it themselves. Design their own costumes, and prepare

their own intros to be read by the 'Ring master'.  Also had set

designers to prepare the stage. We prepared flyers and posters

to advertise our circus had a circus parade – essential, and

performed it at a school assembly.


Introduced circus music included

Barnum and Bailey

Little song for infants "The Circus is coming" song.

Lucy in the Sky

The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze



Post performance we looked at the history of Circuses, including Australian Circuses

Also some of the animal issues involved.  Athletic training etc


It was so much fun I think I'll do it again. is a great site with lots of info.  There is a special children’s section. As well as Facts sheets on many of the famous Circuses.

Name the Clown Page

History of Clowning

Circus Links

How to Juggle


Here’s a great Circus site with a webquest and some great links – even some jokes, circus lingo and Themed units of work.


7. Letter writing – Environmental Activist

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Someone a Letter

What kids say about the environment (sample letters)

Letter writing tips for children from amnesty international

Peta (people for the ethical treatment of animals) guide to letter writing



WWW Virtual Library Great Resource - Huge


Maths lemonade Stand

Other Maths Activities from CoolMaths


Digital Video Education



Mr Shakespeare -  comprehensive site about Shakespeare


Argo library



PC User Help Station





Theme pages for Elementary School teachers

Thematic Workshops for tired Teachers



Hi Cathy,

Cheers for a great website. I'm a teacher on Christmas Island and contact

with 'the outside world' is great!! I'm hoping you and/or your readers can

help me out with some info/templates about Maths Think Boards. I think they

are just excellent learning tools. I'm also looking for some Concept

Keyboard stuff. Hope you can help. My email is


PS Think Boards are divided into 4 quadrants- objects,numbers and

signs,pictures and stories. Children complete each quadrant. They may start

in the numbers and signs with 5 + 5 = 10 and have to complete the other

quadrants with objects a matching story and a picture.


Julei Hayden


Can anyone Help with this????


Cathy, a friend introduced me to a new search engine this week. 

It's great for teachers because it already has the blocks for parental

control on it. It's located at:

Try it out.  By moving  your mouse over the sites provided, it

gives a brief synopsis of  what is on the site!  My students will love it.

Terrie Rust

What does everyone think of this search engine??  I think it I

s very cool. Love the presentation., much more user friendly,

I’ve already popped it on my links bar.


Hi Cathy

Re: Andrew's request

Here's a site with a full, free interactive unit on The Wave by

Morton Rhue

Hope he finds it useful.



Thanks Daphne


Hi Cathy

Thanks for another informative newsletter. Just to let you know the link in

the newsletter for the sports worksheets etc. is incorrect. It should have

sport.html at the end not sports.html.

Help for Andrew re. the novel The Wave. There is a free unit on The Wave to

download on the following site. It is very comprehensive and includes a

printable booklet for students and teachers. I have used it in part for a

Year 11 class.


International Education Services


Pam Thompson


Thanks Pam you’re right about the link – sorry folks

Help please Cathy. I am a homeschooling parent and I'm

going through the Northern Territory to Queensland and

require some  lessons. Perhaps a website with relative

SOSE tailored to the relevant state/territory? Can you

help? Great site, fantastic links keep up the good work,

much appreciated by a very busy mum!!!!!!!!!


Don't quite know what you are after.  There are a lot of links

for Australia on my site at

Something there may help. Also the Queensland government webquest




Hi Cathy!

I'm looking for a site to help our support school develop some

great resources in the area of life skills maths.  Our students

love to use the computer so links to virtual reality-type maths

sites would help our kids with access and motivation.

Dean Dunham


Mersey Heights Support

Hi Dean,

I am unsure of what you specifically require - and also the age of your students - take a look at some of the sites at:

This site is also interesting and interactive.




Dear Cathy, well thanks to a link to a travel buddy site from your

newsletter ( not the most recent one ) we have a visitor from Ms.

Baker's grade 3 Florida USA, Murray the Mustang  and we would like to

share this with your readers in the hopes that perhaps as in the States,

a grass roots movement spearheaded by caring children could help us to

be better in our duty of care to all animals.

Here is part of his latest letter home and a photo for your website,


Dear Ms. Baker,

Hi how are you all at home?

Yesterday I learnt about Brumbies and was shocked to find that the

Australian government doesn't treat them as well as the Government in

the USA which has protected  us Mustangs since 1971. They still cull

wild horses, many of whom are descended from unwanted World War I mounts

and use them for petfood. It is lucky that some horse gentlers from the

States have come to help train people here and some Australians have

started an adoption agency. Michael hopes to give a wild horse a home

some day.

bye for now,


useful sites and references

the quiz is good here's the answers!

Ms. Baker's travel Buddy page

Our travel buddy page



10.  NEXT ISSUE -  Who Dunnit links and Real Life Maths ,

I’ll also be reviewing some Handwriting/Computer Skills books

– that I recently consulted on – rather interesting.  As always

send in any suggestions.  Have a good one. Ciao ==============================================

11. Code of the 'Netizens'

This Newsletter is not free, despite the misleading advertising

above. The Fee is now due. Each week you must help one

colleague on the Internet who has less knowledge than you.

Help that person even if you have to visit their classroom or

do a little research and get back to them. Trust me, this will

help a lot of people get their computer classrooms running better.

OK I'm trusting you!!!


12. TIPS

1. Double click on highlighted URLS to open in browser.

2. Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with

Answers, send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.

3. Nominate a brilliant site for review and inclusion in this


4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in

this newsletter.

5. Make contact with other schools using fantastic programs.

6. Prepare and innovative article for this newsletter.

7. Tell 2 colleagues about this newsletter.


The opinions expressed here are purely those of the editor,

Cathy Brown. All other small print clauses apply. Such as:

Use at your  own risk. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If it doesn't

work for you send me an email.

Editor: cathy brown


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